Connecticut Elks Association President Kathi Ackerman
Welcome to the Connecticut Elks Association website. On behalf of the over 22,000 Elks of the great State of Connecticut, I thank you for stopping by. On our website, you will find information about our State Association, our 30 local Lodges and how we are promoting our local, Connecticut Elks Association and Grand Lodge programs. Please visit often as updates and information changes often.
Although Connecticut is small geographically, we are large in commitment to serving our communities through local charitable works, state association sponsored programs and involvement with all Grand Lodge programs. It is with great pride to hear Connecticut recognized at a Grand Lodge Convention for achievement of program excellence. Connecticut has won many State Association awards and Grand Lodge awards over the years, and we strive every day to continue down that path. We are extremely proud of the fact that Connecticut has had an annual gain in membership for the past 7 consecutive years!
It is also noteworthy that Connecticut is home to twenty Lodges that are over 100 years old including our “Mother Lodge,” Hartford No. 19, the first building constructed in Connecticut solely for use as an Elks Lodge in 1903.
I am from Portland, CT and Middletown Lodge No. 771 is my home lodge. I have been a member of the order for 20 years, all of which as a member of Middletown Lodge No. 771. Middletown Lodge is in the Central District, one of the four districts of the Connecticut Elks Association. Our district is known as “The Heart of Connecticut Elkdom”.
The City of Middletown is in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles south of Hartford – the capital of our great state. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Indian name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653. In 1784, the central settlement was incorporated as a city distinct from the town. In 1923, the City of Middletown was consolidated with the Town, making the city limits of the city quite extensive. Originally a busy sailing port and then an industrial center, it is now largely residential with its downtown serving as a college town for Wesleyan University. Middletown was the county seat of Middlesex County from its creation in 1785 until the elimination of county government in 1960. When travelling throughout our great state, please stop into Middletown Lodge or any of the other lodges in our state and say hello.
Connecticut has played a pivotal role in Elkdom over the years. In 1927 at Meriden Lodge No. 35, the endorsed candidate for GER John F. Malley. first proposed the creation of the Elks National Foundation, our philanthropic fund. This charitable trust will give away over $25 million dollars in scholarships this year and helps us to support the many community programs of our local Lodges.
The Elks of Connecticut developed and implemented our national soccer shoot program, which was the brainchild of Past Grand Trustee Robert W. Hansen and Past Grand Loyal Knight Francis A. Joyce, both members of New Britain No. 957. This program teaches youths of all athletic skill levels the values of good sportsmanship, allowing them to compete, connect and succeed.
The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and their “Safe Kids Program” is one of our state major projects. For over 60 years we have enjoyed our relationship with the CCMC, helping them with keeping children safer through education and the use of bicycle helmets, child car seats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Our annual donation funds the efforts to reduce the number of children hospitalized each year.
The Connecticut Special Olympics is our other major project, and we are a Partner Sponsor and Unified Sports School Sponsor. Our sponsorship includes supporting the Holiday Classic during November, bringing over 100 Elk volunteers to assist these special athletes during the volleyball, power lifting, bowling and basketball competition events. We continue to grow with the Special Olympics program and have expanded our participation in the annual Soccer Skills Competition held during June. Please stop by our Connecticut Elks Major Project booth at the 2023 National Convention in Minneapolis, MN to learn more.
During my 20 years as an Elk, I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve the Middletown community and surrounding towns through the various programs of the Elks. Since my initiation into the Order in 2003, I have served as a Lodge Officer, Exalted Ruler, State District Chairman, State Officer, District Deputy, State Vice President and now as State President. It is an honor for me to serve the Connecticut Elks Association as its President and represent our members at the Grand Lodge Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota this year.
As Elks, we are known as an organization that cares and shares. Most impressive about this is that we accomplish caring and sharing through the virtue of Charity and volunteering our time and resources to achieve the goals of our great Order. The success of any association depends on the involvement of its members. Connecticut Elks have always gone above and beyond to continually move our programs in a positive direction. I am confident that from the arm of Charity, Connecticut Elks will continue to show the caring and sharing excellence that the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is known for.
Thank you for visiting our website!
Kathleen W. Ackerman, PDD
President, Connecticut Elks Association Charities, Inc.